Budapest provided venue for the first EU macro-regional workshop on water on 19 April, which was initiated by EU Strategy for the Danube Region ‘Water Quality’ Priority Area (ESDR PA4) and organised in cooperation with Interact Programme. The meeting provided the first opportunity for networking and exchanges across the MRS in a horizontal understanding of the field of water.
All four EU macro-regions were represented on the workshop joined by European Commission, the EUSDR PA4 Steering Group members and other relevant actors. The workshop provided a common platform for discussing water-related issues in the Danube, Baltic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian and Alpine region. More precisely, the workshop was focusing on freshwater-related matters and common freshwater-marine issues (e.g. nitrates, plastic pollution, migratory species and adaptation to climate change).
Experts came from 10 countries and from various policy areas including Hazards, Water Quality, Environmental Risks, Biodiversity, Environmental Quality and Resources. Participants had the opportunity to be informed about the updates on latest EU water and macro-regional information. In addition, the first background study comparing EU macro-regions water-related issues carried out by company Trenecon was presented. Besides exchanging knowledge and sharing experiences on how the water matters are addressed in the different macro-regions, main challenges were outlined and best practices and lessons learnt.
Participants of the workshop could already identify common areas of interest and agreed about the importance of continuous discussions involving different topics in the future. Taking into account the conclusions of the meeting, it can be proposed to continue exchange on specific thematic and on the MRS governance-related questions in a workshop organised jointly by Interact and EUSDR PA4 in the first half of 2019.